Wal-Mart Stores Inc Declares Quarterly Dividend of $0.52 (WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) announced a quarterly dividend on Wednesday, February 21st, Wall Street Journal reports. Investors of record on Friday, August 10th will be given a dividend of 0.52 per share by the retailer on Tuesday, September 4th. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.27%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 9th.

Wal-Mart Stores has raised its dividend by an average of 2.1% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 43 consecutive years. Wal-Mart Stores has a payout ratio of 46.0% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect Wal-Mart Stores to earn $4.91 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.04 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 41.5%.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded down $2.59 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $91.52. 49,470,911 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,480,213. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.81. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $69.33 and a 1-year high of $109.98. The firm has a market cap of $271,120.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.60, a PEG ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.42.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The retailer reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.04). Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The business had revenue of $135.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $133.63 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.30 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

WMT has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. CIBC reduced their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Stephens set a $117.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $119.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $110.28 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday. Sixteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $102.76.

In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,057,004 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.69, for a total value of $198,891,716.76. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $652,520,200.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total transaction of $200,284.35. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 7,635,405 shares of company stock worth $742,168,245. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. Fred Alger Management Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4,619.7% in the second quarter. Fred Alger Management Inc. now owns 1,128,064 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $85,372,000 after acquiring an additional 1,104,163 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 294.7% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 830,566 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $62,856,000 after acquiring an additional 620,113 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,579,702 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,426,000 after acquiring an additional 580,373 shares during the period. GLG Partners LP bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores in the second quarter valued at about $12,759,000. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 63.6% in the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 384,728 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $29,117,000 after acquiring an additional 149,608 shares during the period. 30.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes its mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart or Wal-Mart brands, as well as digital retail.

Dividend History for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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